Trotter_04-2019
Reviews

The Long Apocalypse

Today, a century after the close of the “war to end all wars,” the prospect of achieving what the U.N. and other such garrulous bodies call “global peace” seems ever more remote.  According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, if only we could establish everywhere the right to equality before the law, freedom of speech, freedom from “arbitraxry detainment,” access to justice, and a host of other rights, glorious and perpetual peace would blossom.  In the view of the propagators of such dangerous nonsense, violence is the product of social and political deprivation.  Eliminate injustice, poverty, discrimination, class barriers, political tyranny, barriers to immigration, etc., and violence will fade away along with all the old soldiers.  Of course, schoolchildren and delusional political activists aside, no one really believes this, not deep down, though we may repeat the “peace and justice” mantra as a form of self-hypnosis, desperate to believe it because the alternative seems too unsettling.  And in a post-Christian era, the notion that violence is the result of ineradicable human sinfulness—the Augustinian prognosis—is hopelessly unfashionable.

Enter René Girard, the 20th century’s most provocative analyst of violence, which, for him, is almost always sacrificial—that is, mimetic.  For those unfamiliar...

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